Parents Television Council Accused Of Dumping Petitions, Just Focused On Cash

from the well,-look-at-that... dept

We’ve written a few times about the Parents Television Council, the infamous nonprofit group that sends out alerts any time anything it considers indecent is aired on TV or shows up elsewhere that the PTC doesn’t like. Back when Kevin Martin was at the FCC, the PTC actually appeared to have some influence, but since then, its influence has clearly dwindled quite a bit. And with a court recently rejecting the FCC’s attempts at fining those who upset the PTC as unconstitutional, the organization is apparently struggling with being relevant. I’d also guess that a growing number of people think that PTC’s fear mongering is totally ridiculous and unfounded. For example, its latest grandstanding is about the CBS TV show $#*! My Dad Says. I would guess that most people simply don’t care. And that’s reflected in the fact that donations are way down to the PTC, and while the group claims 1.3 million members, only about 12,000 people seem to actually be active.

However, the NY Times recently had an article that suggests things are even more screwed up for the PTC than what was already known. It includes accusations from a whistleblower who worked at the PTC that the organization would ignore petitions that were sent in, just taking donations and not doing anything with the material. To understand what apparently happened, you need to understand how the PTC works. It generally sends out hyped up FUD-filled “petitions” that it asks people to sign, with promises that the PTC will pass them on to the FCC or whoever else. Except, the accusations claim that the PTC would take the returned envelopes, take out the cash, but then never pass them on to the FCC.

For a group that tries to present itself as being super ethical, taking money and failing to live up to what you promised to do in exchange for the money seems pretty unethical.

The group’s response to this seems to be to attack the whistleblower, trying to turn his request for severance after he left the organization into a claim that he was trying to extort money from them. Unfortunately for the PTC, after the LAPD investigated the accusations of extortion, it found that the guy did not commit extortion. Rather than admitting that, it seems that any time anyone brings up these questions, the PTC goes right back to accusing the guy of extortion. At some point, you’d have to think that if the PTC continues to make such charges, the guy might actually have a decent defamation claim against them….

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Comments on “Parents Television Council Accused Of Dumping Petitions, Just Focused On Cash”

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Mille Sabords (profile) says:

Self policing is a joke.

How can you expect the profit driven media to refrain from showing the worst of our culture. It pays! There is always a limit to obscenity. The question is who sets the limit? We need an independent body to monitor media content.

The result of the status quo is a distorted picture of America. What I know as normal way of life as nothing to do with what Hollywood pretends America is. Who are those guys in Hollywood to decide what is OK or not OK to show on TV?

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Self policing is a joke.

“Who are those guys in Hollywood to decide what is OK or not OK to show on TV?”


You do realize that they don’t actually make that decision. We do. By spending money/attention on them. We already have the independent body you’re talking about: it’s called the market.

Here’s a better question: why should any group, independent of the govt. or not, be able to censor the consumption or communication between two liberated, free peoples?

Free Capitalist (profile) says:

Re: Self policing is a joke.

We need an independent body to monitor media content.

Who watches the Watchmen?

I think Mike points out this article because in the PTC, we have a group claiming to be a kind of moral police for the content on television. On closer inspection, it seems that wielding this powerful scepter of righteousness “for the people” leads to self-righteous behavior, like taking money for the “service” but providing no service.

Also I question the veritable usefulness of a group whose claim to fame is engaging Congress in full-scale inquisition of an absurd old boob.

Chris (profile) says:

Re: Self policing is a joke.

Yeah I don’t want an independent group to monitor media content. Last time I checked I was perfectly able to judge and monitor content on my own. I don’t need for someone to tell me I don’t like something. I can figure that out all myself. The other crazy thing about TV and radio etc. is if I don’t like what’s on I can change it to something else.

SLK8ne says:

Re: "the PTC does have a point"

Maybe so, but, if you are too busy/ignorant/uncaring to raise your kid, they’re going to be dysfunctional jerks, TV or no TV. As much as I despise most TV shows for insulting my intelligence (including all the news networks) I recognize that there were foul mouthed brats before TV was invented. The idea that before the “evil” TV was invented all children were polite and that there were no dysfunctional families is absurd. As crappy as TV is, it’s not the root of all evil in our society, and people who treat it as such are delusional.

BTW, I am a Christian, I’m not a homophobe, I prefer shotguns to assault rifles, and couldn’t afford a helicopter if my life depended on it.
Have a nice day.

marak (profile) says:


“Well the PTC does have a point. If you are too busy/ignorant/uncaring to raise your children and let the TV raise them instead, they are going to grow up with potty mouths”

If your any of the above you should not have children! Thats the reason me and my fiancee arnt considering children, were both way too busy with our professions to give a child the time they need.

Nicole says:


Parent Television Council is a JOKE!!!!! I decide who in my house watches what, not some bible thumping repubs!!!!!!!! And guess what I let my kids watch SKINS. And we loved it and you know what else after the show my 10 yr old started doing drugs with in the hour.HAHAHAHAHA
Do people see what this country is coming to I dictate my life and I don’t need some council to do it for me.
The best thing is for this ridiculous council to go away. Repubs need to burn in H@LL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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